The American Classical Music Hall Of Fame offers a complimentary smartphone application for playing inductee music through your phone and also through Washington Park’s PA system.Download Android Player Download Player On iOS No, thank you. Just take me to the website.
Born in 1916
Inducted in 1999
Milton Babbitt was born May 10, 1916, in Philadelphia. He spent his early years in Jackson, Mississippi, and graduated high school in 1931. Studies in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania soon gave over to music courses at New York University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1935. Babbitt’s involvement with music proceeded largely on theoretical lines, leading to intensive investigations of twelve-tone theory and systems at a time when the word “dodecaphonic” would have elicited a blank look from many musicians. In the 1950s he became one of the co-directors for the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. He explored the possibilities of controlling all elements of a music composition and thus harnessed electronic instruments (the RCA Mark II Synthesizer, in this case) to serve the dodecaphonic theories that he worked out. The twelve-tone system that Babbitt devised created a range of expressive possibilities that contradict the stereotyped view of dodecaphonic music. In addition to electronic works, Babbitt has written for live orchestral, chamber music, solo, and vocal forces, composing with rigorous attention to all details. Babbitt has involved himself in important music organizations such as, the editorial board of the journal Perspectives of New Music, and as president of the American section of the International Society for Contemporary Music. In addition to his positions at Princeton University, where he is now Professor of Music Emeritus, he has been a member of the composition faculty of the Juilliard School, and has taught at the Berkshire Music Center, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, and the Darmstadt summer courses in new music. His many honors and awards include a MacArthur Award and a Pulitzer Prize Citation for his “life’s work as a distinguished and seminal American composer.”